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Discussion Starter #1
I've been doing searching for a while but have not seen an answer.

We used up all the battery yesterday on a couple of trips. It was not charged this morning. In testing tonight when you plug in the indicator light turns yellow, then shuts off. No green and no chirp. Getting inside the car the DIC says charging but it is not (see image). No miles added in 30+ minutes.

Anyone ever seen/heard of the underlined?

points and things tried with no joy:
- Blink 240v charger in use for a few years now; plugged it into our other Volt and it started charging it
- zero miles on the battery at 9:30ish when there was a 9pm delayed start time (off peak)
- unplugged and plugged in within a couple seconds to force immediate charge
- changed from delayed (9pm) to immediate charge settings.
- from outside the car used FOB to lock, unlock to see it it would start. repeated without success.
- unplugged, closed charge door, started the car and moved it a few inches forward. opened charge and plugged in.
- checked pins with a flashlight and none are bent and everything looks normal (rem charging cable works on other volt)
- plugs in OBDII reader and there are no error codes; to messages on the DIC either

Aside: A couple days ago we got a fuel stale msg warning so I added a couple gallons of gas. After doing that it ran on the battery. It is about at a 1/2 tank now.

We currently have 2 cars for 3 people and taking this to the dealer for a day or more would be a pain for sure.

Potential savings grace: Since this was an early 2011 (vin 01234 actually) I bought the extended warranty. It ends Feb 2018 and we are 20K under the mileage as well.

i.imgur.com/o69MD7q.jpg
 

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If it were my vehicle I would check it at a public Level 2 charging station to see if you get the same result and also try your 110v Level 1 charger. If you get same problem then something would seem amiss with the charging circuitry in the vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If it were my vehicle I would check it at a public Level 2 charging station to see if you get the same result and also try your 110v Level 1 charger. If you get same problem then something would seem amiss with the charging circuitry in the vehicle.
Keep in mind that the "charger" in question worked in my testing of my other Volt. i.e. try failing volt, moments later tried it in other volt and it worked, moments later went back to failing volt and it still failed.

I was planning on trying our 110v "charger" tomorrow but it is mounted in the ceiling and didn't want to move our other volt. It'll go tomorrow to work with my wife so the stall will be free.

Just odd that there are no codes and the msg on the DIC says charging but it is not. Also that only a yellow light shows up then disappears without a green following it.
 

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Your "yellow light turns on, then shuts off and no green light and no charging" experience happened to me with my 2012 Volt and my Blink L2 charger a month or two ago. The cause was a temporary failure of the Blink unit (had to reset the breaker at the electric panel for my unit that was installed in 2012). After you plug in the L2 cable, the Blink panel should light up as the charging starts. Check your Blink charger unit to see how it behaves as you plug in your other Volt and start charging, and see if it behaves differently when you try it with this Volt... just to be sure the problem is with the car, and not with the Blink charger and this particular car...

Have you tried switching into Mountain Mode to see if your 2011 Volt will charge itself back up to the MM-maintained level (~4 bars)? You can do this in ~15 minutes while parked using 0.36 gallons of gas, although some prefer to use MM recharging while the car is in motion. If so, can you then use the L2 charger to complete the full charge? If you cannot recharge this way, it would suggest something is wrong with the charging system. If you can, it would suggest the problem is on the "charging from the grid" side of the picture.

Not sure what you mean by getting "a stale fuel message warning." If you mean the FMM Fuel Maintenance Mode message, did you say okay, yes, start the FMM before you added those couple of gallons of gas, or did you postpone it and then added the gas? In one thread a while ago, the poster got the FMM message, postponed it, added new gas, and then the FMM appeared again the following day (and now there was even more "old" gas in the tank!), and his service department had to correct the issue. It’s as if once the message appears, you need to Start the FMM before you add more gas, so that you can End the FMM by adding that gas. If you did have an FMM message the other day, did you start and end it properly?
 

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Have you tried switching into Mountain Mode to see if your 2011 Volt will charge itself back up to the MM-maintained level (~4 bars)?
Good Idea!:)

If the ICE is able to charge the HV battery at least this can be isolated as not having an issue...more than likely the EVSE/charge port or the on-board Lear charger but I suspect not this.
 

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It sounds like something is going wrong during the J1772 handshake, but the EVSE wiring on the other Volt makes the obvious answers less likely.

With the given data, I'm betting there's a problem with the charge port itself on one of the secondary lines - from dirty contacts to a broken connector attaching it. It's odd that there wasn't an event to lead to the sudden failure, though not completely unheard of.
 

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Had this happen on my Red Volt twice. Both times because I did not fully seat the J1772 handle into the car's socket.

Not saying that's what happened to the OP, but I'm wondering if it's possible there is some corrosion or something on the pilot signal pin socket that is causing the handshake to fail.
 

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Keep in mind that the "charger" in question worked in my testing of my other Volt. i.e. try failing volt, moments later tried it in other volt and it worked, moments later went back to failing volt and it still failed.

I was planning on trying our 110v "charger" tomorrow but it is mounted in the ceiling and didn't want to move our other volt. It'll go tomorrow to work with my wife so the stall will be free.

Just odd that there are no codes and the msg on the DIC says charging but it is not. Also that only a yellow light shows up then disappears without a green following it.
Time to go to the dealership...they should have you out in less than a day...UNLESS they have to order parts...:rolleyes:
 

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I would also try the 120V EVSE, Scott. See if it charges the car. I know, sounds weird, but I had an issue with a relay going bad in the battery that caused 240V charging to fail, but 120V worked. The relay was replaced (battery removal). The new part took two weeks.
 

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I've had a similar problem with the L2 station here at work (although I don't think mine ever said "charging", but it did say "plugged in". Maybe that was a programming fix after 2011).
It's happened a few times over the years where there was some minor corrosion on the charger pins. The pins on your volt port may be the problem. Try the L1 charger, but it may still not work. Then take a close look at the contacts in the plug. If the appear corroded at all, you can scuff them up a but with some light sand paper. That usually solves the problem for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the replies. Much appreciated. TL;DR -- I did try the 120v L1 charger and it acted the exact same way. Yellow, then off, but car DIC says 'charging'. P.S. yes, I realize the EVSE is not the 'charger' per se ;)

Your "yellow light turns on, then shuts off and no green light and no charging" experience happened to me with my 2012 Volt and my Blink L2 charger a month or two ago. The cause was a temporary failure of the Blink unit (had to reset the breaker at the electric panel for my unit that was installed in 2012). After you plug in the L2 cable, the Blink panel should light up as the charging starts. Check your Blink charger unit to see how it behaves as you plug in your other Volt and start charging, and see if it behaves differently when you try it with this Volt... just to be sure the problem is with the car, and not with the Blink charger and this particular car...
I restarted (unplug,wait 15s,plug) the Blink charger but got the same results. Also it is working on our other Volt. The Blink display shows 'charging' for 7 seconds when you plug in the car and the yellow light is on. I was guessing this was some handshaking.

Have you tried switching into Mountain Mode to see if your 2011 Volt will charge itself back up to the MM-maintained level (~4 bars)?
Good thought. I ran an errand today and used MM. It did charge up to 8 battery miles during my errand. It still would not charge at home after that.

Not sure what you mean by getting "a stale fuel message warning." If you mean the FMM Fuel Maintenance Mode message, did you say okay, yes, start the FMM before you added those couple of gallons of gas, or did you postpone it and then added the gas? In one thread a while ago, the poster got the FMM message, postponed it, added new gas, and then the FMM appeared again the following day (and now there was even more "old" gas in the tank!), and his service department had to correct the issue. It’s as if once the message appears, you need to Start the FMM before you add more gas, so that you can End the FMM by adding that gas. If you did have an FMM message the other day, did you start and end it properly?
I did press OK and let it run the gas engine while I was running an errand the other day. On the way home I stopped and put 2 gallons in. After leaving the gas station it just used the battery as I had several miles left on it.

It sounds like something is going wrong during the J1772 handshake, but the EVSE [working] on the other Volt makes the obvious answers less likely. With the given data, I'm betting there's a problem with the charge port itself on one of the secondary lines - from dirty contacts to a broken connector attaching it. It's odd that there wasn't an event to lead to the sudden failure, though not completely unheard of.
Indeed my test of the 240v EVSE ('charger') on the other Volt lead me to believe it was not the Blink.
&
Had this happen on my Red Volt twice. Both times because I did not fully seat the J1772 handle into the car's socket. Not saying that's what happened to the OP, but I'm wondering if it's possible there is some corrosion or something on the pilot signal pin socket that is causing the handshake to fail.
I had unplugged and plugged in several times during all this and I did make sure I pressed a little extra to make sure it was seated.

I would also try the 120V EVSE, Scott. See if it charges the car. I know, sounds weird, but I had an issue with a relay going bad in the battery that caused 240V charging to fail, but 120V worked. The relay was replaced (battery removal). The new part took two weeks.
I have not tried to do sandpaper on the contacts. I did scope them out yesterday with a flashlight and they seemed OK visually plus I would expect all the plug/unplugging to rub a good contact. Still I could see how they may get corroded. I would expect an error code tho and not a bogus 'charging' msg on the DIC.

i.imgur.com/WoKAlh4.jpg
 

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Thanks for the replies. Much appreciated. TL;DR -- I did try the 120v L1 charger and it acted the exact same way. Yellow, then off, but car DIC says 'charging'. P.S. yes, I realize the EVSE is not the 'charger' per se ;)


I restarted (unplug,wait 15s,plug) the Blink charger but got the same results. Also it is working on our other Volt. The Blink display shows 'charging' for 7 seconds when you plug in the car and the yellow light is on. I was guessing this was some handshaking.

Good thought. I ran an errand today and used MM. It did charge up to 8 battery miles during my errand. It still would not charge at home after that.

I did press OK and let it run the gas engine while I was running an errand the other day. On the way home I stopped and put 2 gallons in. After leaving the gas station it just used the battery as I had several miles left on it.

Indeed my test of the 240v EVSE ('charger') on the other Volt lead me to believe it was not the Blink.
&
I had unplugged and plugged in several times during all this and I did make sure I pressed a little extra to make sure it was seated.



I have not tried to do sandpaper on the contacts. I did scope them out yesterday with a flashlight and they seemed OK visually plus I would expect all the plug/unplugging to rub a good contact. Still I could see how they may get corroded. I would expect an error code tho and not a bogus 'charging' msg on the DIC.

i.imgur.com/WoKAlh4.jpg
Hmm. Remove the fender liner and look at the back side of the charge port? To get these symptoms, I think it has to be a problem with one of the two small pins - the pilot and the proximity. My guess would be the pilot square wave duty cycle isn't getting through to the charger for some reason?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hmm. Remove the fender liner and look at the back side of the charge port? To get these symptoms, I think it has to be a problem with one of the two small pins - the pilot and the proximity. My guess would be the pilot square wave duty cycle isn't getting through to the charger for some reason?
I did try a couple things.
a) used some sandpaper to lightly rub the pins. I did this a reasonably light as I could with a small screwdriver to apply just a little pressure. Very careful not to bend anything.
b) I plugged in then held the button down on the J1772 handle so the locking mechanism was released and pulled and pushed it in so it only moved about 1/8" about 20-30 times. Idea was to rub the contact area a little just to make sure it was getting a good connection.

No joy with either of these methods. I may try to remove the fender liner but am not quite comfortable on some of these up close projects as I'm currently working with one eye (depth perception not adjusted) and had surgery at the beginning of the month. May try to figure out a schedule early next week when I can take it in. As well I'm not sure I would want to move something where it would start to work because the next time it failed I maybe out of my warranty date or mileage (which ever is first). Would like to take it in when it is recreatable.

Aside: The local dealership's service area I use opened again not that long ago after a contract (union?) dispute ... or at least that is what the email and snail mail indicated. Hopefully they caught up from the service stoppage. I think there is some outstanding recall work on our '16 Volt to per a snail mail flyer.
 

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I did try a couple things.
a) used some sandpaper to lightly rub the pins. I did this a reasonably light as I could with a small screwdriver to apply just a little pressure. Very careful not to bend anything.
b) I plugged in then held the button down on the J1772 handle so the locking mechanism was released and pulled and pushed it in so it only moved about 1/8" about 20-30 times. Idea was to rub the contact area a little just to make sure it was getting a good connection.

No joy with either of these methods. I may try to remove the fender liner but am not quite comfortable on some of these up close projects as I'm currently working with one eye (depth perception not adjusted) and had surgery at the beginning of the month. May try to figure out a schedule early next week when I can take it in. As well I'm not sure I would want to move something where it would start to work because the next time it failed I maybe out of my warranty date or mileage (which ever is first). Would like to take it in when it is recreatable.

Aside: The local dealership's service area I use opened again not that long ago after a contract (union?) dispute ... or at least that is what the email and snail mail indicated. Hopefully they caught up from the service stoppage. I think there is some outstanding recall work on our '16 Volt to per a snail mail flyer.
Oh, if this is still covered under a warranty, by all means take it to the dealer. I figured it was out of warranty.
 

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What about disconnect and charge the 12 volt battery?...Crazy things happen with the 12 v battery gets weak....2011 VOLT the battery must be at least 7 yrs old...Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Oh, if this is still covered under a warranty, by all means take it to the dealer. I figured it was out of warranty.
No worries. Thanks for trying to help. Since this was an early 2011 (vin 01234 actually) I bought the extended warranty. It ends Feb 2018 and we are 20K under the mileage as well. Better to have something go wrong now instead after Feb'18!
 

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Had a similar odd issue on my '13 -- was fixed under warranty. It was actually a software bug that required a reprogram of HPCM2. If only I could remember what tripped it -- I believe it was from a public charger that didn't handshake correctly and it just set off a bug that the Volt couldn't resolve on its own without a reprogram. Not sure if your stale fuel warning would have had anything to do with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Regardless of what the dealer tech finds out (I predict a visit is in your future) you should be using this on your charge port pins:
dielectric grease

Mine was getting a little flaky on making a connection, and after using this the symptoms went away. I have a lifetime supply now since it only takes a dab on each pin.
Thanks for the reminder. I have used that on my trailer towing connector in the past.
Had a similar odd issue on my '13 -- was fixed under warranty. It was actually a software bug that required a reprogram of HPCM2. If only I could remember what tripped it -- I believe it was from a public charger that didn't handshake correctly and it just set off a bug that the Volt couldn't resolve on its own without a reprogram. Not sure if your stale fuel warning would have had anything to do with it.
Definitely wouldn't be surprised if there was a bug but wished that had some better resiliency code around this. So odd that the the DIC states 'charging' and that it didn't put out an error code (OBD II readable) when the process flow does not make it to the 'green light'.
 

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Speaking of things that many of us probably didn’t know that are discussed in the owner’s manual:

Have you read through your owner manual’s section on Charging Status Feedback in the Driving and Operating section? For my 2012 Volt, referring to the Charging Status Indicator, or CSI (i.e., the little light on the dashboard), it says "If the vehicle is plugged in and the CSI is off, a total utility interruption using OnStar or a charging fault has been detected. See "Utility Interruption of Charging" or "Charge Cord Status Indicators" later in this section." This section of the manual has a longer description of Utility Interruption of Charging, triggered via OnStar. It could be the driver's display is reading "Charging" because it's ready to be charging once the utility interruption is corrected.

Also, have you turned on the car while the charge cord is plugged in and reviewed the energy usage center display regarding the "Charging" selection? Here is where you can see your delayed starting time and expected completion time when you don't override it. I should think that if the driver’s display shows "charging," this display should also show that same status, unless (as in my manual under Instruments and Controls) it is showing a Charging Override/Interruption Pop-Up message. It appears that one reason for such an interruption is "The charge process was interrupted by the utility company via OnStar as authorized by the vehicle owner (available in select regions)." OnStar has been behaving oddly recently it would seem from the number of postings I’ve seen... Could it be playing around with your 2011 Volt?

Also, if the cord is plugged in and the car knows it, you shouldn’t be able to drive the car until you unplug it. Can you? That is, will your car allow you to start it and shift out of Park even though the cord is plugged in and the driver’s display reads "Charging"?
 
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